Understanding OSHARequirements for Auto ShopsThe Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is a Federal agency whose missionis to protect workers on the job through regulations, inspections, education, and assistance.OSHA regulates and provides guidance on topics such as personal exposure limits (PEL) tohazardous materials or chemicals, personal protective equipment (PPE), machine and electricalsafety, fire prevention and contingency planning, and hazard communication. This fact sheetprovides an overview of OSHA requirements and safety topics relevant to auto shops. Inaddition, OSHA has a webpage specifically targeting auto shop issues and regulations.Hazard Communication: What You Need To KnowSafety Data Sheets (SDSs)Formerly known as Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs), Safety Data Sheets provideinformation about products and chemicals such as ingredients, first aid and proper personalprotective equipment (PPE). According to the Hazard Communication standard 29 CFR1910.1200, all businesses must store SDSs for each hazardous chemical in the shop in aknown and easily accessible location. SDSs contain valuable information about health hazards,environmental and disposal concerns, and protective measures associated with each chemical.OSHA has created a webpage that outlines the sections of an SDS.Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): What You Need To KnowGeneral requirementsEmployers are responsible for assessing workplace hazards and identifying, providing, andtraining employees on the use and maintenance of PPE that corresponds to the nature of theirwork. (29 CFR 1910.132)Not only must employers provide appropriate PPE, but they must also enforce that it is used. Ifsomeone gets hurt on the job and was not using correct or appropriate PPE, your business maybe held liable and become subject to OSHA enforcement.Protection for eyes and faceBased on the task, workers may need protection against chemical splashes, vapors or mists,flying sparks or particles, or harmful glare (29 CFR 1910.133). Protective eyewear should fitproperly and be appropriate for the work. For instance, safety goggles are not adequateprotection for welders who need welding shields. OSHA outlines the eye protection rating fordifferent tasks, including minimum shade eye protection for welders, beginning on page 11 ofthis Personal Protection Equipment brochure.

Protection for handsGloves are needed for many tasks in auto shops. OSHA enforces hand protection under 29CFR 1910.138. The type glove and it varies from task to task. Here are some examples ofdifferent gloves and their uses: Leather gloves are required for welding because they protect against sparks, heat, andsharp objects. Shop owners must provide their workers with appropriate gloves to protect them fromsolvents. Glove varieties include butyl, neoprene, or nitrile gloves and it is up to you toread the SDS for each product since these gloves do not protect against all hazardouschemicals. The University of California’s Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory created a usefulguide on glove selection and chemicals. OSHA also has a glove resistance chartbeginning on page 26 of their PPE guide. Latex gloves are meant to be used in the health care setting, as they only protect againstgerms or biological hazards. In addition, latex gloves may cause an allergic, andsometimes deadly, reaction in some individuals. You should avoid using latex gloves.Protection for hearingThe OSHA enforceable permissible exposure level over an eight-hour workday is 90 decibels(dB). The limit for 15 minutes is 115 dB (29 CFR 1910.95). If workers are exposed to a loudenvironment, provide earplugs or other ear protection. Note that a hearing conservationprogram is required whenever employee noise exposures equal or exceed 85 decibels over aneight-hour workday. OSHA has created a guidance document to assist you in setting up ahearing conservation program.Protection for paint techniciansAuto body shops require additional skin protection (for the head, face, and arms) for painttechnicians during spray painting activities to protect against chemical exposures. These includeprotecting all exposed skin from harm with either a chemical resistant full-body suit or other nonstatic discharge producing outer clothing. Also, painters should protect their head and face witha hood and goggles – all exposed skin must be protected.Respiratory Protection: What You Need To KnowGeneral informationRespirators protect workers lungs from hazardous airborne chemicals or particles. Employersare responsible for providing adequate respiratory protection that corresponds with thehazardous chemical exposure of the task being performed (29 CFR 1910.134). Tasks in yourshop where OSHA requires that employees wear respirators include painting, sanding, weldingand whenever ventilation controls and work practices are not adequate enough to reduceexposures below the PELs for particulates or chemicals (See 29 CFR 1910, Subpart Z).Respiratory protection programsAuto shops must develop a respiratory protection program. Respiratory protection programsinclude written workplace procedures, proper selection of NIOSH approved respirators, training,fit testing, inspection and maintenance, medical evaluations, work area surveillance, andprovisions for clean breathing air when using supplied-air respirators.Even when exposure levels do not exceed OSHA PELs, workers may still decide to wearrespirators. In this case, a limited respiratory protection program is still required, including

proper training and fit testing, so that workers don’t cause themselves harm by improperly usingthe respirators. The California Department of Industrial relations has created guidance oncreating a respiratory protection program.The right respiratorOSHA has developed a ‘Quick Card’ which describes different types of respirators and how theyshould be used. They also include respirator selection guidance beginning on page 9 of theirRespiratory Protection Brochure. In addition, NIOSH has created a brochure to assistbusinesses in respirator selection.Fit testing and trainingFit tests and training are required annually for all thosewho wear tight-fitting respirators. Some fit tests andtrainings may be available through some supplycompanies and occupational health clinics. Note thatany facial hair that could interfere with the respiratorseal is not permitted.Medical evaluationsEmployees who wear respirators or work in a task thatrequires the use of respiratory protection need to havea medical evaluation. An occupational physician orother licensed health care professional can performmedical evaluations for shops’ respiratory protectionprograms.Fire Prevention and EmergencyTraining: What You Need To KnowA portable fire extinguisher with amaintenance tagFire ExtinguishersUploaded to Wikimedia Commons byThe Massachusetts Fire Prevention Regulations 527SaperaudCMR 10.02(1) and 23.07 are not OSHA requirements,but are included in this fact sheet because they relate to job safety.State fire prevention regulations mandate that all buildings required by the fire department toprovide portable fire extinguishers must install and maintain them in accordance with theNational Fire Protection Agency’s (NFPA) Code 10. Specifically, fire extinguishers must besubjected to yearly maintenance. Each fire extinguisher must have a tag or label securelyattached that indicates the month and year the maintenance was performed, the identification ofthe person and company performing the maintenance.Each fire extinguisher must be inspected each month to be sure that: It remains in its designated place. They are accessible and visible. Operating instructions are legible and fully visible.

Safety seals and tamper indicators are not broken or missing. The extinguisher feels full when lifted. The extinguisher is not physically damaged, corroded, leaking, or clogged, The pressure gauge reading or indicator is in the operable range or position, and The Hazardous Material Information System (HMIS) label (copy and paste this into yourbrowser: 0LARGE.pdf) isin place.Employee trainingAccording to OSHA regulation 1910 Subpart E, employers with more than 10 employees musthave both a written emergency action plan and a written fire prevention plan. Employers with 10or fewer employees must still have emergency action and fire prevention plans, but they do notneed to be in writing. This guarantees that your employees are clear on what they are and arenot to do in case of a fire at your business.29 CFR 1910.157 states that if your plans included the use of portable fire extinguishers beused by employees, all employees must receive annual training on fire extinguisher use and thehazards associated with fighting the fires. If your plan does not include use of fire extinguishers,you must make sure that your employees understand they should not attempt to fight a fire andshould evacuate the building, and THEN dial 911 to call the fire department.Storage of Flammable Substances: What You Need To KnowFlammable storage cabinetsOSHA requires that chemicals be stored properly in order to prevent accidents. Flammableliquids need to be stored separately from other types of chemicals, such as those that arecorrosive or highly reactive. Shops should avoid storing flammable chemicals in direct sunlightor near heat sources. 29 CFR 1910.106 details the regulations regarding designated andapproved fireproof cabinets: Flammable liquid storage areas need to be labeled clearly with “FLAMMABLE - KEEPFIRE AWAY” No more than 60 gallons of Category 1, 2, or 3 flammable liquids and no more than 120gallons of Category 4 flammable liquids can be stored in a fireproof cabinet. Category 1 liquids have flashpoints below 73.4 F and boiling points at or below95 F Category 2 liquids have flashpoints below 73.4 F and boiling points above 95 F Category 3 liquids have flashpoints at or above 73.4 F and at or below 140 F Category 4 liquids have flashpoints above 140 F and at or below 199.4 F Metal cabinets need to be constructed with at least 18-gauge sheet iron and doublewalled with 1 ½ inch air space and the doorsill must be at least 2 inches above thebottom of the cabinet.

All containers stored in the cabinet need to be labeled properly with expiration dates,contents, and manufacturer warnings.Flammable liquids storage roomsShops that do painting likely have a paint storage or mixing room. These must comply withOSHA ventilation requirements. See the “Spray Painting Regulations” fact sheet. Also, OSHAflammable storage regulations 29 CFR 1910.106 refer to the requirements for electrical wiring,storage capacity, and arrangement of the chemicals. Electrical wiring inside storage rooms used for Category 1 and 2 flammable liquids needto be approved under the specifications for Class I, Division 2 Hazardous Locations (29CFR 1910.307 and 106). People need to be able to safely move in and out of the storage. Under 1910.106(d)(5)(v), Table H-14 outlines on which floors flammable categories 1through 4 may be stored. The storage room must be built in a way that contains spills if/when they occur, andworkers should safely remove and appropriately manage leaking containers as soon asthey are discovered. A fire extinguisher and/or other fire control device or system should be readily availablein or near the room.Worker Rights: What You Need To KnowIf workers are concerned about their safety, they have the right to contact their regional OSHAoffice to request advice or an inspection. See this Worker’s Rights page for more information.Reporting injuriesEmployers are responsible to investigate workplace injuries, determine whether or not theyneed to be reported to OSHA, and report those incidents. Find out reporting and record keepingrequirements here.For free and confidential technical assistance or questions, contact:MA Office of Technical Assistance 100 Cambridge St. Suite 900, Boston, MA, 02114Phone: 617.626.1060 Fax: 617.626.1095 E-mail: [email protected]/eea/ota/masscar